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Tony Stewart Calls NASCAR's Frustrating Car of Tomorrow a 'Flying Brick'

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NASCAR 75: #58 COT Was the Sport's 'Flying Brick'Icon Sports Wire - Getty Images
  • COT, one of the oddest vehicles in the history of NASCAR and one that attracted significant criticism and ridicule.

  • The car was developed largely in response to the 2001 Daytona 500 accident that killed NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt.

  • Safety enhancements included relocation of the driver seat closer to the center of the interior and “crush” zones designed to absorb impact in accidents.


It wasn’t a good sign that the NASCAR Car of Tomorrow, in development for five years, was described as “terrible” after its first race, which occurred in March 2007 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Making that comment even more significant is the fact that it was made by none other than the race winner, Kyle Busch, who also offered the opinion that the new cars “suck.”

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Thus began the years-long existence of the so-called COT, one of the oddest vehicles in the history of NASCAR and one that attracted significant criticism and ridicule.

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NASCAR put the Car of Tomorrow through rigorous testing just weeks before its 2007 debut at Bristol.Rusty Jarrett - Getty Images

The car was developed largely in response to the 2001 Daytona 500 accident that killed NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt’s death followed accidents that had killed Tony Roper, Kenny Irwin Jr. and Adam Petty, and the loss of the sport’s biggest star accelerated demands that NASCAR enhance its safety protocols.

After years of engineering, design and testing, the COT debuted at the Bristol spring race in 2007. It was scheduled for about half that year’s races before moving to full-time status in 2008.